Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who was summoned as an accused in a defamation case over his remarks against the RSS, was Saturday allowed to be represented by his lawyer on the next date of hearing. Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kamrup, Sanjoy Hazarika during the hearing allowed Gandhi to be represented by his lawyer during the next hearing on December 23.
Gandhi was not present in the court. The Congress leader had personally appeared in the court on September 29 following its summons on August 8 and was allowed to go on PR bond in connection with the criminal defamation case regarding Barpeta Satra in December last year. Gandhi had been allowed to go on personal ecognizance, or PR bond as he appeared before the court personally and in deference of his status as an MP.
Complainant Anjan Bora had filed criminal defamation case against Gandhi stating he had brought down the image of RSS in society by saying he was not allowed by its members to enter Barpeta Satra, a 16th century Vaishnavite monastery in Assam on December 12, 2015. Bora claimed that Gandhi was supposed to go to the Satra on December 12, 2015 but he did not go there and instead took part in a padayatra.
Two days later on December 14, the Congress leader told a press conference in Delhi that he tried to enter the Satra but was prevented from doing so by its elected members and RSS supporters, Bora stated in his case. Claiming the Congress leader’s assertion as a “blatant lie”, Bora filed the criminal defamation case in the CJM’s court stating that on December 12, 2015 a lot of people, women and elected leaders of the Satra were waiting for Rahul but he never visited the holy place.
Gandhi by making his claim in Delhi had brought down the image of RSS in society, he claimed. The CJM court took cognisance of the case and examined seven witnesses, including elected members of the Satra and initiated proceedings against him under section 500 of the IPC. Under the section, the convicted is awarded two years simple imprisonment or fine or with both.